Geoff Thompson (writer)

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Geoff Thompson
Thompson in 2009
Thompson in 2009
Born (1960-01-26) 26 January 1960 (age 64)
Coventry, England
Period1989 - present
GenreFilm, Stage, Spirituality, Self-Help, Autobiography
SubjectPersonal development, Depression, Addiction
Notable worksWatch My Back
Notable awardsBAFTA for Best Short Film
SpouseSharon Thompson

Geoff Thompson (born 26 January 1960) is a BAFTA-winning writer,[1] film-maker, spiritual teacher, and martial artist. He has written prolifically in a wide range of genres, including books on spirituality, self-help, self defence, and martial arts, and scripts for film and stage.[2]


Early life[edit]

Geoff Thompson was born on 26 January 1960 in Coventry, United Kingdom.

Thompson had been a student of martial arts since a child and gained a high rank in Karate. His fear of violent confrontation despite being a highly ranked martial artist encouraged Geoff to become a night club bouncer in order to confront his fear. His experiences on the night club door, combined with a life-long desire to be a writer, led to him writing the manuscript of his first book Bouncer. Thompson says this was written on the toilet of the factory in Coventry where he worked as a floor sweeper, and he was encouraged by workmates to write down the bouncer stories he shared during lunch breaks.

Nightclub bouncer and first book (1980s)[edit]

Thompson left his factory job and became a full-time martial arts instructor, teaching martial arts during the day and working as a bouncer at night. He eventually found a publisher for his first book Bouncer (later re-published as Watch My Back), and shortly afterwards quit working as a bouncer - partly due to his notoriety since publishing his book - to focus on martial arts and writing.

World-renowned martial artist (1990s)[edit]

Thompson became a world renowned martial artist specialising in 'reality' martial arts and self defence, based on his experience at the night club door, and co-founded the British Combat Association with Peter Consterdine.[3] Thompson became famous as a self defence instructor and in particular for his concept of "The Wall". He taught seminars in the US for Chuck Norris.

Film writing and BAFTA award[edit]

Thompson began writing for film with his script for the short film Bouncer in 2003, which went on to star Ray Winstone and was nominated for a BAFTA award. He wrote the script for a short film Brown Paper Bag, based on his own brother's problems with alcoholism that eventually led to his death in 1999,[4] and this won Thompson a BAFTA award in 2004 for Best Short Film.[1]

Geoff went on to write the film script for the feature film Clubbed (2008), based on his autobiography Watch My Back, starring Colin Salmon.[5]

He wrote the screenplay for the feature film The Pyramid Texts (2015), starring James Cosmo.[6] Thompson made his directorial debut in 2015 with the short film The 20 Minute Film Pitch.[7]

His work Romans 12:20, directed by the Shammasian Brothers and starring Craig Conway, (2008), has been adapted into a feature film, Romans (2017), starring Orlando Bloom.

Writing for stage[edit]

Thompson has written successfully for stage, including the play Fragile which is semi-autobiographical and showed in Coventry.

Spiritual teacher, podcast, TED talk[edit]

Alongside writing, for many years Thompson was a spiritual teacher and coach, drawing upon his own experiences as a martial artist and of personal problems that he had contended with, which inspired his self-help books.

Thompson produced a popular podcast on spiritual guidance and self-help for a number of years, and in 2016 he presented a TED talk entitled Conquering Fear.

Recent years[edit]

In 2020 he released an autobiography, Notes from a Factory Floor and the spiritual self-help text The Divine CEO.


Feature films[edit]

Short films[edit]

  • Bouncer (2002) – Writer, starring Ray Winstone. BAFTA nominated.[9]
  • Brown Paper Bag (2003) - Writer, starring Ronnie Fox. BAFTA winning.[10]
  • Romans 12:20 (2008) – Writer[11]
  • Pink (2009) – Writer[12]
  • Counting Backwards (2014) – Writer[13]
  • The 20 Minute Film Pitch (2015) – Writer and Director[7]
  • Shadow (2017) – Writer[14]


Thompson has written and co-authored more than eighty books.[15]


  • Notes from a Factory Floor (2020), Urbane Publications, ISBN 978-1912666713
  • Watch My Back (2004), Summersdale, ISBN 978-1840247169 Originally published as "Bouncer" in two parts c. 1989.

Self-help / Spirituality[edit]



Martial arts / Self-defence[edit]

Martial arts[edit]

Thompson began his martial arts training in the Eastern arts including karate, aikido and kung-fu. However, during his time as a nightclub doorman, he found that what he had learned was inadequate for the reality of violence. Thompson came to realise that the techniques encouraged and practiced in touch-contact and semi-contact martial arts were not always suitable for self-defence. Though he utilises a small core of these techniques as part of his teachings, Thompson prefers full-contact martial arts and combat sports such as boxing, Muay Thai, judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Greco-Roman- and freestyle wrestling.

He holds the ABA Boxing Instructor certificate and high-level coaching awards for wrestling,[16] a 1st Dan in Judo (1997) under world champion Neil Adams,[17] and an 8th dan in Shotokan Karate.[18] Geoff is a Joint Chief Instructor of the British Combat Association.[3]

Geoff Thompson was also the first instructor to name and extensively teach "the fence", a technique in real-life defence involving keeping your hands in front of you in a non-threatening manner so as to protect yourself in case a situation escalates but without provoking violence.

In the 1990s, Thompson wrote and presented a wide range of martial arts and self-defence DVDs. In 1995, he and his self-defence school featured in the Channel 4 documentary Passengers.

Martial arts instructional DVDs[edit]

  • The Escapes (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRT8[19]
  • Ground Fighting – Chokes and Strangles (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRU2[20]
  • Pins – The Bedrock (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRSY[21]
  • The Pavement Arena Part One (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRWA,[22]
  • The Pavement Arena Part Two – The Protection Pyramid (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B01I05LPZ0[23]
  • The Pavement Arena Part Three – Grappling, The Last Resort(2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRWU[24]
  • The Pavement Arena Part Four; Fit to Fight (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRX4,[25]
  • Real Punching: The One Punch Kill (2005), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B0007NLRS4[26]
  • The Ultimate Self Defence Seminar (2006), Summersdale Productions, ASIN: B000CR6X5C[27]


  1. ^ a b "BAFTA | Film | Short Film in 2004". Archived from the original on 7 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Geoff Thompson". IMDb.
  3. ^ a b "British Combat Association | About". Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Author, Guru & Martial Arts Pioneer Geoff Thompson Talks Fear, Films & Factory Beginnings". 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Clubbed (2008) - IMDb". IMDb.
  6. ^ a b "The Pyramid Texts (2015) - IMDb". IMDb.
  7. ^ a b "The 20 Minute Film Pitch (Short 2015) - IMDb". IMDb.
  8. ^ "Retaliation (2017) - IMDb". IMDb.
  9. ^ "Bouncer (Short 2002) - IMDb". IMDb.
  10. ^ "Brown Paper Bag (Short 2003) - IMDb". IMDb.
  11. ^ "Romans 12:20 (Short 2008) - IMDb". IMDb.
  12. ^ "Pink (Short 2009) - IMDb". IMDb.
  13. ^ "Counting Backwards (Short 2014) - IMDb". IMDb.
  14. ^ "Shadow (Short 2017) - IMDb". IMDb.
  15. ^ "Books by Geoff Thompson". Goodreads. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  16. ^ Geoff Thompson web site. "wrestling". Archived from the original on 22 April 2008.
  17. ^[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ The British Combat Association. "Welcome". Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  19. ^ "Ground Fighting: The Escapes". Amazon UK.
  20. ^ "Ground Fighting: Chokes and Strangles". Amazon UK. January 2005.
  21. ^ "Ground Fighting: Pins". Amazon UK.
  22. ^ "Pavement Arena 1: Adapting Martial Arts for the Streets". Amazon UK. January 2005.
  23. ^ "". Amazon UK.
  24. ^ "Pavement Arena 3: Grappling: The Last Resort". Amazon UK. January 2005.
  25. ^ "Pavement Arena 4: Fit to Fight". Amazon UK.
  26. ^ "Real Punching: The One Punch Kill". Amazon UK. January 2005.
  27. ^ "The Ultimate Self Defence Seminar". Amazon UK. 23 January 2006.

External links[edit]